'It means we can be a family': Sunderland mum left with paralysis launches appeal to fund electric wheels
A mum who had a stroke while in the early stages of pregnancy has launched a fresh appeal to fund equipment which will mean she will be able to get out and about with her family.
She had been experiencing back pain in the weeks before, forcing her to pull out of the Great North Run, and spent seven months in hospital during the peak of the pandemic, discharged following the birth of her son.
Ashleigh and partner Stephen Joyce were her restricted mobility is likely to be permanent, with the nerve damage making it difficult for her to grip, so she struggles to push her chair or Jacob’s pram on an uneven surface.
Ashleigh, who is also mum to Paige, eight, and a three-year-old stepson, has said they have been given lots of help from family, but hope the new wheels will help her independence.
Having raised funds to adapt their home, they are now appealing for donations to fund half the £5,000 expense of the E-motion powered wheels, with her support worker and occupational therapist looking into how the remainder can be covered.
Her uncle, Jason Gates, is lining up a series of challenges to help boost the fund, which has already raised £700 in the space of just days, while other friends and family have also offered to help.
Ashleigh has said she is asking for help as a “last resort” and will appreciate any support offered to help them spend more time out and about.
She said: “If we go out with the kids, we have to be with one of our mams or take someone else with us, and we're always grateful, but it means we can’t just go out as a family.
"It makes things difficult and we have to plan.
"The last thing I wanted to do was to ask for money, but it will make a big difference.”
Ashleigh’s rehabilitation has been helped by the Golden Jubilee regional spinal cord injuries centre at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough after she was first treated at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Her fund can be found via https://gofund.me/38436a35.